You wouldn't think of McDonald's as your traditional social video marketer, but over the past few years, the burger brand has launched well over 70 social video campaigns. In June, it was one of the web's most-watched brands.
But how did McDonald's do it? The Top Brands in Video Chart this month features heavy viral hitters like Samsung, Google, and Microsoft, which benefit from built-in audiences, sexy tech products, as well as highly anticipated product launches that people can't wait to watch and share. McDonald's latest campaign, by contrast, pulls back the curtains and shows what goes on behind the scenes at a burger photo shoot. It may not sound like the sexiest description, but, as we'll see, going viral and generating views and earned media is a state of mind that permeates throughout a campaign. The high-level result is a month worth nearly 8 million views for McDonald's and a seventh place finish among all brands.
Powered by data from Visible Measures, this monthly chart looks at the most-watched brands in online video, across all of their campaigns. (Check out past charts for May, April, and March.)
Think brand, act social
Back in January, McDonald's faced a major social media backlash when it launched a Twitter campaign to get people to share their McDonald's stories. The problem with the campaign wasn't that people didn't share it, it was what people shared, quickly turning the situation sour for the brand. To make matters worse, the pink slime story hit soon afterwards, with McDonald's at the center of the controversy.
But instead of letting the media and public frame the issue, McDonald's went on the offensive. The result is the campaign "Our Food. Your Questions," which has helped elevate the fast food maker to the top of brands in video this month.
The campaign set out with a clear goal: Build trust with customers by starting a transparent dialogue about McDonald's food. McDonald's had a real brand problem to solve with this campaign and it decided to do it socially.
The campaign takes customers' questions about the brand and responds with frank answers. Questions include: Why does your food look different in advertising than what is in the store? Is the chicken real meat? Why is Micky D's so cheap? Does McDonald's use real eggs?
McDonald's Canada has already produced and published a number of video responses to these questions. By putting consumers at the center of the campaign, and directly answering their questions, the campaign is inherently social while enabling McDonald's to remain "on brand" in its responses. The result is that consumers get a moment in the spotlight, feel like they're heard, and, as a result, are more likely to share the responses important to them, which drives views.
Show, don't tell
In responding to consumers' questions, McDonald's Canada could have easily gotten an executive to talk about their food processes and approach to advertising. Instead, it deployed its director of marketing, Hope Bagozzi, to show us a behind-the-scenes look at McDonald's Canada.
In the most-viewed creative of the "Our Food. Your Questions." campaign, Bagozzi takes us on a tour of the photo shoot of a McDonald's burger print ad. The goal here is to show us the difference between in-store burgers versus the beautiful burgers that make it into McDonald's advertising. Bagozzi even buys a fresh quarter pounder with cheese for comparison.
To do this, Bagozzi takes us through the step-by-step process of producing a burger worthy of making it into McDonald's advertising. These beauty burgers get specialized cooking treatment, ketchup and mustard injections, cheese enhancements, pickle and onion touchups, and more. After some airbrushing work from a designer, the beauty burger is ready to go, and Bagozzi shows us the side-by-side burger comparison. It's no contest.
The result is a video that's truly memorable and a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at how McDonald's runs some of their marketing. McDonald's pulled it off by showing rather than telling.
Publish new content frequently
McDonald's had nearly 8 million views in June coming from more than 70 individual video campaigns, but what's important to note is that campaigns launched in June were responsible for more than 6.5 million views. The remaining 1.5 million views came from McDonald's other 70 campaigns.
This speaks to the importance of new content when audiences choose to watch ads. Just like a new film or a new TV show, new content attracts audience and news media attention. Even Samsung, which had more than 20.7 million views in June, launched five new campaigns in May. Those campaigns generated more than 19.3 million views in June. The rest of Samsung's 80-plus ad campaigns produced 1.3 million views.
Top 10 chart: Quick look
In all, the Top 10 brands in video in June were responsible for over 115 million views. Google dominated all brands with more than 24 million views, boosted by highly anticipated end-of-the month announcements for the Nexus 7, Google Now, and Google Glass, each accompanied by video campaigns. Microsoft also posted big views for its Surface announcement. Newcomer KLM broke out in video in June with a big campaign for its mix-and-match seating campaign with Dutch celebrities. Barack Obama also got into the mix with his steady stream of new video content and campaigns for the 2012 election.
Powered by Visible Measures.
iMedia's Top 10 Brands in Video chart, powered by Visible Measures, focuses on aggregated brand view counts across related social video ad campaigns. Each brand and campaign is measured on a True Reach basis, which includes viewership of both brand-syndicated and audience-driven video clips. The data are compiled using the patented Visible Measures platform, a constantly growing repository of analytic data on close to 400 million videos tracked across more than 300 online video destinations.
Note: This analysis does not include Visible Measures' paid-placement (e.g., overlays; pre-, mid-, and post-roll) performance data or video views on private sites. This chart does not include movie trailers, video game campaigns, TV show, or media network promotions. View counts are incremental by month.
Learn more here.
iMedia Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved.